This time, Richard V. Hurley really is retiring. On June 30, he’ll step down as the University of Mary Washington’s ninth president, leaving an academic community thankful for his six years of approachable, forward-looking leadership.
In 2010, Rick Hurley was on the brink of retirement as UMW’s chief financial officer, having served as acting president after the departure of the university’s seventh president. Then UMW’s eighth president resigned unexpectedly, and the Board of Visitors asked Hurley to take the reins.
He responded with enthusiasm and a solid commitment to the university and its people.
That commitment translated to big things: The construction of the William M. Anderson Center. The state-of-the-art information and technology facility now called the Hurley Convergence Center. The sparkling University Center at the heart of campus. And the Mary Washington First campaign that’s closing in on a $50 million fundraising target.
Hurley’s commitment showed in small ways, too.
There were the hot August days when he helped freshmen and their families haul belongings into dorm rooms. High-fives with proud graduates as they received their degrees. Alumni gatherings all over the country that reminded one-time students why their alma mater is still an educational gem. And earnest interactions with members of Virginia’s General Assembly, the UMW Board of Visitors, faculty governance, and student leaders.
In its 2016 session, the General Assembly presented President Hurley with a joint resolution expressing admiration for his dedication to UMW students and his contributions spanning more than three decades in education. President Hurley, the assembly said, had “earned the respect of his peers for his transparency, collaborative leadership style, and responsiveness to the needs of students, faculty, and staff.”
The outgoing president connected with the Mary Washington community, and he connected its members with one another.
Thank you, President Hurley. UMW won’t forget it.